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GIT MAKER was successful on his fourth start in points and looked a good prospect when making a winning debut under Rules in a maiden hurdle at Chepstow last month. He looked a straightforward type, jumping well in the main and staying on well on the run-in. There should be more to come from him now and he is taken to defy a penalty, perhaps at the chief expense of Bonne Vitesse at the other end of the weights, and Netywell.
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SKYHILL took a step back in the right direction when two lengths fourth to the reopposing To The Limit at Kelso three weeks ago and there is reason to think he can reverse the form now. That was his first run for six weeks so he is entitled to strip fitter now, while he also gets a 4 lb swing in the weights with that rival now. He figures on a dangerous mark and is worth chancing. Cudgel, who is now below his last winning mark, is another to consider.
MOROZOV COCKTAIL remains lightly raced, especially over fences, and he showed a good attitude when opening his account with the cheekpieces back on at Wetherbyon Boxing Day. He failed to land strong support over the same course and distance last time, but he didn’t seem suited by a more patient ride for one who stays so well. He remains fairly treated and should make a bold bid granted he is ridden more aggressively. Space Safari and Houston Texas rate the principal dangers.
ZABEEL CHAMPION was a smart performer on the Flat for Mark Johnston and got the better of a duel with a subsequent winner to make a winning start over hurdles for these connections at Leicester in November. He failed to improve as expected when runner-up to a useful mare on his latest start, but he looks attractively weighted on his Flat form now entering handicaps. He is open to further improvement and should prove a tough nut to crack. Malpas and Global Agreement can fight it out for the forecast spot.
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LADY TREMAINE improved for the switch to handicaps and fitting of cheekpieces when opening her account at Bangor in December. She failed to repeat that form when only fifth at Chepstow last time, but she left the impression she was in need of a stiffer test, so she will be well suited by this step up in trip. She is also now back in novice company and against her own sex, so she makes a fair bit of appeal in what doesn’t look the deepest race. Fiadh is the obvious threat unless there’s market support for debutante Poppy Rose.
TOKAY DOKEY won his sole start in bumpers and both of his completed starts over hurdles and he looked potentially useful when opening his account at the third attempt over fences at Market Rasen on Boxing Day. His jumping improved throughout the race on that occasion and was impressive at the line. A subsequent 11 lb rise looks justified on that evidence and there should be even more to come from him. Cornerstone Lad and Mackenberg were both successful last time out, too, but if Ribble Valley is tuned-up for this comeback run and takes to fences, he could be the main danger.
The return to this course could be just the tonic for HIDDEN DILEMMA, whose form figures over hurdles here read 211, and she’s 5 lb lower than when finishing second in this race two years ago. The nine-year-old was in the process of running well when falling on her reappearance at Cork and should come on for that. Stablemate Lily’s Gem is not dismissed, but Grand Turina and Maid O’Malley may prove sterner opposition.
SUPREME GIFT sets the standard on his pair of runner-up efforts towards the end of last year and gets a narrow vote ahead of likely improver Paddock Cottage. Point-winner Maximilian and Irish-trained newcomer Bella Union are other interesting contenders in a contest where the market could be informative.
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
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